May Book Club: Encore

Imagine you’re at your peak of health and young adulthood, a promising opera career just ahead of you…and then you’re diagnosed with a fatal disease and given only five years to live. The Encore: A Memoir in Three Acts is about the life of Charity Tillemann-Dick, a soprano singer who performed in opera houses all over the world, all while enduring the immense complications of Idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension and two (yes, TWO) double lung transplants.

My friend, Charity, passed away last two weeks ago on April 23, at age 35, but her story and tenacity to live and pursue what she loved despite her disease still inspires many. In homage to the beautiful person she was and the light she still shines, we are reading her beautiful memoir. We hope you’ll join us as we honor her this month and read about Charity’s perseverance and experiences of living close to death through her own candid, honest words.

Stay tuned for artwork later this month, and follow along with @larsbookclub.

October Book Club: Rebecca

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October Book Club

Hello readers! Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was such a big book club hit last fall that we chose another creepy classic to ring in October. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is the story of a young woman who marries wealthy estate owner Maxim de Winter, and learns the ropes of high England society as she becomes the new mistress of Manderley. But all is not as it seems. Maxim is often haunted by the past, the cryptic housekeeper Mrs. Danvers hovers and smiles in unsettling ways, and the mystery of Manderley’s first mistress, Rebecca, is never far from everyone’s mind. What really happened to Rebecca? And though she is deceased, will the new Mrs. de Winter ever escape her influence?? Daphne du Maurier is a master at sucking you in with sensory details, describing the setting, the stately house, the tossing sea. It’s wonderfully spine-chilling. 😉 Follow along on @larsbookclub as we discuss Rebecca and piece this gothic mystery together. We hope you love it! We’ve heard nothing but rave reviews! Later in the month, we’ll have artwork and discussion questions to share. Enjoy!

Photography by Clara Jones

Mother’s Day Apron

Mother’s Day Apron

Growing up, I can remember multiple school sewing projects involving apron making. I can even remember one that was supposed to be a Mother’s Day gift. Maybe it’s been done more than a few times, but hear us out. A Mother’s Day apron is one of the most perfect gifts! It’s handmade (raise your hand if your mother doesn’t love handmade gifts). It’s functional–since we are human and we need to eat, isn’t an apron like the most basic kitchen necessity? Oh, and the most important reason to make this apron: it’s just so adorable.

Our Mother’s Day Apron

This Mother’s Day apron is unique in part because we had the pleasure of using our very own custom Spoonflower fabric! Get ready for a lot more sewing projects–we’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg with this. We love how the pink and red checkerboard turned out with the apron. It was the perfect choice!

We also have an apron pattern that we’re especially thrilled about–due to the easily adjustable neck strap, it can fit pretty much any body size and shape. Because you don’t want to be dealing with a saggy or too-tight apron when you’re in the kitchen. It should fit perfectly!

How to Make a Checkerboard Mother’s Day Apron

Here’s how to make a checkerboard apron for the mothers in your life:

Prepping the Fabric

  1. First, you’ll want to prewash your fabric and dry it.
  2. Next, iron or steam the fabric so it’s nice and smooth.
  3. Now, lay out your pattern pieces and cut them out (see our PDF for specific details on printing and assembling the pattern).

Making the Strap

  1. With your strap pieces cut out, place two of the short ends with right sides together and sew along the edge with 1/2″ seam allowance. Trim and iron out flat.
  2. Now repeat the first step to attach the third piece, then fold over both ends by about 1/2″ and iron.
  3. Next, with right sides together, sew all along the raw edge of the fabric to make an inside-out tube.
  4. Turn the tube right side out (use a safety pin to pull it through), iron flat, then top stitch around the entire thing.
  5. Done! Set it aside until you’re ready to add it to the apron.

Sewing the Apron

Now you can start on the apron itself!

  1. First, hem the two sides and bottom. To do this, fold and iron the raw edge to the wrong side by 1/4″, then fold it over by another 1/4″ to hide the raw edge and iron. Sew all the way around the three bottom sides.
  2. For mitered corners, see our tutorial here!
  3. Now you’re ready for the top hem. For this, fold and iron the raw edge over by 1/4″, then again by 1″. Sew along the edge to tack it down and that hem is done.
  4. Next are the casings. For these, iron the outside curve under by 1/4″. Then line one casing up with the curve of the apron, right sides together, using notches as a guide. Sew along the edge.
  5. Now clip around the curve a bit.
  6. Next, hem each edge of the casing so it’s lined up with the edge of the apron. Tack each end down with a line of stitching.
  7. Turn the casing over to the other side and press flat.
  8. Finally, sew along the edge of the casing to tack it down and you’re done!

Assembling the Apron

The last step is to fully assemble your Mother’s Day apron.

  1. To do this, simply pin a safety pin to one end of the strap and feed it through both casings to make the neck loop. Adjust as desired for the perfect fit and you’re all done!

Happy Mother’s Day! Will you make her an apron this year? Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Loved this tutorial on how to make a Mother’s Day apron and want a little more? Try these sweet spring outfits for the whole family! You also might be interested in this quilted shower curtain or mask, this DIY headboard, or this DIY beeswax wrap.

Customizable Father’s Day Portrait

A Customizable Father’s Day Portrait

We’re so excited to share this tutorial with you! What could be better than a fully customizable Father’s Day portrait in the form of a collage? It’s simple, promotes creativity, and keeps kids busy when it’s just too hot to be outside all afternoon.

No matter how many or how diverse the fathers in your life are, you can make a fun, playful portrait for them with this customizable collage!

 

Here’s how to make your own:

How to Make Your Own Father’s Day Portrait

  1. First, download our Father’s Day Portrait template found here.
  2. Note: If you don’t have a cricut maker, print and cut out the template with scissors. If you have a cricut maker (well worth the investment for this project), simply select the color of paper and shapes you want to cut out and go to town customizing your dad’s portrait!
  3. For our portraits, we chose a variety of colors. Let your kids make it as bold and fun as they want! No color is out of bounds here, but if you want, you can use our photos as a reference for some fun combos.
  4. When you’re done cutting out the pieces, assemble them onto a plain white sheet of cardstock (we’d recommend 8.5″ x 11″ or 12″ x 12″), gluing as you go.
  5. After you’ve glued all the pieces down, you can frame it if you want, or leave it as is.
  6. Done!

I love that this customizable Father’s Day collage is so versatile and playful. I can’t wait to see what you and your kids come up with. Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

For more Father’s Day inspiration, see our Father’s Day Gift Guide. Also try our Father’s Day tie and bowtie, Father’s Day lollipop prize ribbons, and our Father’s Day origami shirt gift bags.

 

Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed

Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed

For our Mother’s Day breakfast in bed, we decided to go with something classic and gave it a little twist to make it extra cute for mom. This Mother’s Day breakfast in bed is so simple, but so adorable. Think edible arrangement in bed. Here’s how to recreate it:

Tray

To make your Mother’s Day breakfast in bed extra comfy for mom, you’ll want one of these handy trays. We went with a simple white Amazon edition. It was perfect with the colorful fruit and other components, like our retro floral fabric we turned into a bedspread!

Dishes

A vase and plate or bowl make a lovely addition to your breakfast in bed arrangement. We chose a simple white vase and pink plate we had on hand, but you can also see this post for many more options that would be beautiful as well!

Napkins

We chose our DIY napkins using natural ingredients for this breakfast in bed. We loved the bold colors in contrast with the fruit and that retro floral bedspread.

Flower fruit

The real stars (or flowers) of the show were the cookie cutters, which we used to cut out various types of fruit into flowers and arranged them. This part is fun–get creative and make your own edible arrangement for mom. Here’s how you can recreate these edible arrangements:

  1. First, cut out wide, flat slices of fruit (wide enough for various sizes of the flower cookie cutters to fit on).
  2. Cut out various sizes of the cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, and pineapple. We found that the watermelon and pineapple worked best for the larger cookie cutters, while the honeydew and cantaloupe were ideal for the smaller ones.
  3. Next, cut a length of 18 gauge wire that’s slightly longer than a straw. Slide it through the straw and stick a large fruit flower onto the tip. The flower should sit nicely on top of the straw now.
  4. Cut a small piece of wire and use to attach a smaller flower onto the center of the big flower.
  5. Make as many as you’d like for the arrangement!

Other food ideas

We went with a very fruit-centric breakfast with edible arrangements, grapes and strawberries (these didn’t work with the cookie cutters but are nonetheless delicious). But we also included some delicious cherry turnovers so mom could indulge. Get creative and add anything to your breakfast you think your mother would like!

What are you going to do for your Mother’s Day breakfast in bed? Let us know in the comments!